We often hear business leaders say they wish they could hire some “rainmakers”
to give sales a boost, but experience shows us that this kind of thinking doesn’t typically pay-off. Here’s why:
1. Rare – The salesperson who generates sales out of thin air is a rare breed. If you have one, you are lucky. They are hard to attract and expensive to retain.
2. Disruptive – Sales is a team sport. The lone wolf who brings in big wins can be great for the numbers, but in practice, you can’t build a business around them and in some cases, they can destroy teamwork and morale.
3. Hard to Manage – A self professed “top gun” will assure you they will make their numbers by quarter end (and they probably will), but they will likely shun your sales tracking systems and in the meantime, you are left to guess how things will play out.
4. Fools Gold. Someone who generates sales under almost any adverse conditions is highly desirable, but you can’t expect consistent good results if enough of the other pieces aren’t in place such as product quality, customer support, marketing and a selling system that leads to desired outcomes.
The best performing sales teams comprise a mix of ambitious, professional, reliable, and conscientious team players, who are passionate about what they sell, fit with the corporate culture and buy into a structured sales system. The added upside is that teams like this are less expensive and easier to build than trying to put together a group of “rainmakers”.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
Latest posts by Eliot Burdett (see all)
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